“Kazakhstani Fingerprints”

by Nathan Hamm on 11/3/2004

From EDM:

In principle, the “Kazakhstani fingerprints” on terrorist acts committed on the territory of Uzbekistan can be explained in a logical manner. First, ethnic Uzbeks constitute more than 20% of the population of the Southern Kazakhstani oblast, which borders Uzbekistan. Second, the distribution of the population is such that the ethnic Uzbeks live in compact enclaves. For instance, in Sairam district, which is one of the suburbs of Shymkent, the South Kazakhstan oblast center, ethnic Uzbeks constitute more than 90% of the population, which earns the district the title “Little Uzbekistan.” Astana’s policy vis-a-vis Islamic radicals is far more liberal than the one in Uzbekistan, which forces Islamists from Uzbekistan to seek refuge in Kazakhstan. In essence, the Kazakhstani authorities are not denying these circumstances. Several months ago, the chief specialist of religious affairs for the South Kazakhstan oblast administration, Vladimir Zharinov, explained, “Many Uzbeks from the Tashkent oblast have relatives in Kazakhstan. And, naturally, in such a situation we cannot say for sure which of the Uzbekistani Islamists are sought after by the Uzbekistani authorities”

I’ll spare you the rest because it’s pretty much the typical Igor Rotar “terrorism hardly exists in Central Asia” stuff.


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– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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